Robert Huddleston

Last Things

​Maybe you’re quietly reading
in the garden when they come,
or carrying logs from the wood-
pile in an old wheelbarrow,
or carefully plowing a bean-row,
setting the line in the dirt
before sowing the seeds
and covering them by hand
as one puts a child to bed
—or washing dishes when they
break in and snatch you
by the collar, throw you
into a van and drive awayOr an approaching helicopter
beats menacing rotors
in the night like Azrael
—or one day a storm
blows in, a storm that hurls
black dust over a pewter sun
or, when you least expect it,
comes a letter in the mailbox
and in the letter is a picture
and in the picture a woman
whose beauty breaks the floor
out from underneath you
and you keep falling

Robert Huddleston, a poet, translator, and essayist, holds a PhD in comparative literature from the University of Chicago. His work has appeared in various publications including Boston Review, Chicago Review, and Colorado Review, and has been featured at Arts & Letters Daily and Poetry Daily. He is currently pursuing an MFA at the NYU Writers Workshop in Paris.